Selection Philosophy

The goal of all KCLS materials selection is to support the KCLS mission of providing free access to, and promoting communication of, ideas and information.

To achieve this goal, we strive to develop a broad collection that meets the expressed and perceived needs and interests of the diverse communities that we serve. Our goal is to meet the current demands of our patrons while also building collections that will be of enduring value.

KCLS provides materials in print, audio-visual and electronic formats. The choice of format is governed by type of information, how patrons will best be able to access it, timeliness, necessity and availability of equipment and cost.

All KCLS materials are part of one collection, which is physically distributed among community libraries, a Traveling Library Center, and contracting institutional libraries. Through the selection process we strive to provide each of our community libraries with items particularly suited to its size, community, and expressed interests, while at the same time strengthening the system collection as a whole.

We base much of our selection on a wide variety of review sources because we believe that reviews provide the best way to evaluate the quality of an item. However, we broaden the collection by seeking out additional titles in areas that are not well covered by review media (such as computer, travel, and technical titles), and by responding to requests from patrons and staff.

We are particularly interested in collecting materials of all sorts that pertain to the Pacific Northwest, or were created in the Pacific Northwest.

We are committed to providing an adequate number of copies for each title purchased so that patrons do not need to wait an unreasonable length of time to get any item.

We believe that a high quality library collection must be kept up-to-date by judicious weeding, which removes outdated and worn-out items, while preserving, and when necessary and possible, replacing, classics and items of lasting value.

(Adopted by the King County Library System Board of Trustees on April 29, 2008)

King County Library System Collection Development Policies